The Sub 60 Interview: Keeping your answers on track

Stay on track by keeping your answers to a sub 60 sound bite

Stay on track by keeping your answers to a sub 60 sound bite

It’d be awesome if we could nail every job interview wouldn’t it?

But the reality is we don’t.  And when we walk out of the interview room we generally think “I could’ve done better”.

There are a number of reasons why we don’t nail job interviews.  And in amongst them is time management.

Often, we get part way through an answer and feel the urgent need to bring ourselves back on track?

“ where was I going with this?” or “I could have answered that question better.- If only I’d been clearer and not taken so long!”

Why this happens is that we’ve lost our train of thought through not applying structure and time management to each component of our answer.  We then struggle to get back on track.

If you’re lost – imagine how the interviewer is feeling! Apply structure and time management.

When I’m coaching my clients to develop their interview skills – one area I find common to most is their lack of time management. So if this applies to you, you’re not alone. It’s just that some interviewees are better than others.

Make sure you’re in the ‘better than others’ camp.

The objective of an interview

It’s all about the interviewer.

If you approach an interview from the perspective of the interviewer you’ll find it easier to grasp why you need to get as much accomplished during that 1 short hour that you’ve got.

Convince the interviewer that they need to take you to the next stage.

Get your time management sorted and you’ll be afforded the time to ask your own questions.

Follow this simple process and practice it.

Assuming you have undertaken all of the research you possibly could and are able to succinctly align your experience to the likely interview questions, you should be able to adhere to this time management guide.

Think about your interview as a series of sound bites. Media guru’s use sound bites to get their message across succinctly – without losing impact.

Before you get going though, make sure you know the agenda for the interview.

Establish an agenda and timeline for the meeting.
  • How long has been allowed for the interview?
  • Are there particular areas the interviewer would like to cover off or focus on (this may be an indication as to where they think you could have some gaps)?

The 60 Second Sound Bite

Practice your sample questions and answers by using the following 60 second sound bite rule.

S (10 sec) Brief description of the situation

T (10 sec) Brief description of the task

A (15 sec) Brief description of the action you took to deliver and outcome

R (15 sec) Brief description of the result achieved

T (10 sec) Brief description of the takeaways/key learnings

= 60 seconds

The A.R.T. is to weave the well articulated 60 second answer with sound bite examples relevant to the interviewer – always!

Try using the 60 second S T A R T sound bite.

Practice with a stopwatch, recording the time for each component. See how you go.

You may find it tough to begin with. But over time you’ll automatically begin to answer your questions more succinctly.

Good luck!

Follow Craig on Twitter: @MyCareerBrand #MyCareerBrand


Click here and contact MyCareerBrand to find out how we can assist you to build a 60 second sound bite.

Click here to contact MyCareerBrand to find out how we can assist you to build a 60 second sound bite.


Contact: Phone: +64 21 666 807, +64 9 5222802 e-mail: Craig McAlpine's Linked In profile: MISSION Working with Job Search Candidates to build their go-to-market strategy, develop powerful marketing collateral such as their CV, LinkedIn profile and social media presence, and ultimately to secure a new role that is not only rewarding but also assists them on their career journey. EXPERTISE Career Coaching - LinkedIn Training - LinkedIn Optimisation - Personal Branding - Job Hunt: Go to Market Strategy and Collateral - CV design and preparation - Interview skills INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE - Professional Services - Information Technology - Banking and Finance - Recruitment

Posted in Applying For a Role, Interview Skills
One comment on “The Sub 60 Interview: Keeping your answers on track
  1. EliCo Group says:

    Reblogged this on .


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